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Can I Get Compensation for a Recto-vaginal Fistula?

Can I Get Compensation for a Recto-vaginal Fistula?

If you are suffering with the appalling symptoms of a recto-vaginal fistula, it is quite possible that you have, or have had, an undiagnosed anal sphincter tear during childbirth. A compensation claim may be an appropriate way forward.

A recto-vaginal fistula

As you will probably already know, the symptoms of a fistula can have a pretty devastating effect on a woman's life. Losing control of your bowel function is bad enough, but if a fistula causes wind and faeces to leak from the vagina, it can make life harder both practically and emotionally.

A recto-vaginal fistula is an abnormal passage between the bowel and the vagina which can allow wind and faeces to pass from one to the other. It can often be caused by the failure to repair either a 4th degree tear or a rectal buttonhole tear which has occurred during childbirth.

As such, it may be that the attending medical professionals will be regarded as having been negligent and a claim for compensation may be worth considering.

The impact of a fistula

Leakage of faeces and wind from either the bowel or the vagina can make life extremely difficult. Many women in this situation find that their lives revolve almost entirely around ensuring that they have access to a toilet.

This, accompanied by the accidental release of wind, can make it difficult to undertake employment, especially in work that involves regular public contact such as retail, hospitality, social work and education. Social and personal relationships can come under increasing strain and women frequently become increasingly isolated.

Consequently, diagnosis and repair of anal damage is absolutely crucial if the woman is to have an active and positive long-term outcome.

Medical negligence

Anal damage can occur during the process of vaginal childbirth and is not, in itself, necessarily a sign of negligence. However, women who have undergone vaginal childbirth should be assessed thoroughly for any signs of injury as severe tears (3rd or 4th degree tears) require a prompt surgical repair by a skilled surgeon if the woman is to retain effective bowel control.

A failure to carry out a proper examination leading to a misdiagnosis of the woman's condition may mean that she does not receive a full and competent repair.

Speak to a solicitor

If you are living with the appalling, long-term effects of a recto-vaginal fistula due to misdiagnosis of your injury, contact us to talk to a specialist medical negligence solicitor.

We have supported numerous women in making compensation claims for the impact of unrepaired obstetric injuries and will be happy to advise you.

Please call us on 0800 234 3300 (or from a mobile 01275 334030) or complete our Online Enquiry Form.

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